An inclusive educational program that builds on learning experiences which develop passionate lifelong learners who cooperatively, as well as independently, work to create, investigate, and solve problems.
An instructional program that accelerates learning for all students, builds on the strengths and interests of each child, involves children in ALL steps of the learning process, and documents students’ growth and development through authentic assessment.
A variety of powerful teaching strategies that include technology and vivid concrete learning experiences which engage students in meaningful, centered experiences and that address all learning modalities.
The Creative Curriculum Overview
Creative Curriculum is one of four State approved curricula. Creative Curriculum provides for positive interaction, social emotional competencies, constructive play and Teacher-Family interactions. Creative Curriculum is research based and is offered in English and Spanish, which supports Spanish speaking students. The curriculum is comprised of a comprehensive collection of daily practice and knowledge building.
The theoretical perspective that The Creative Curriculum for Preschool (Dodge, Colker, & Heroman, 2002) focuses on the constructivist view. Constructivists believe that students construct understanding by making sense of their world (Posner, 2004). The major ideas of the constructivism view are that learners have to be engaged and active in constructing ideas and concepts (Brandon & All, 2008). In education, when using the constructivism theory, the teacher is to engage students during dialogue and conversations. Also, teachers need to encourage and allow students to make discoveries in a collaborative, student-centered, and interactive learning environment (Brandon & All, 2008). Brandon and All (2008) stated that educators should design lessons that are aligned with the current state of student’s knowledge. Educators become facilitators and coaches. Constructivist rejects the notation of rote memorization.
The Learning Environment
Value of Learning Centers: In the Early Childhood Department, we believe in a center-based approach to learning. Each center is carefully arranged and planned for a quality experience and a fully enriched environment. All classrooms will have a library area which is the largest area in the classroom.
The classroom design is so critical when giving our preschoolers a quality education. Not only should the atmosphere be nurturing and safe but it should also be organized and arranged in a way so children can navigate smoothly throughout the day. A good classroom design can promote positive behavior and increase student cooperation. It sends a comfortable message to students and has defined learning centers for easy transitions and relaxed planning.
Clearly each school is different and the classroom design will depend on various factors such as size, fire exits, windows, etc. However, all classrooms are organized and thorough with each learning center in mind. When considering classroom design, we consider how each center is used. For example, we do not put the block center (noisy) next to the library center. Classrooms must all have a natural flow. Furniture is also very important and should be sturdy, durable, and not plastic. Shelving should be appropriate for children and materials should be within reach. All furniture should be high enough for children but low enough for teachers to see throughout the classroom. All materials should be labeled with a word and picture so children can participate in clean up time.
The Program focuses upon individual success, provides child initiated learning experiences, and promotes growth in cognitive, physical, social, and emotional areas. Parents and teachers are involved in a cooperative effort to meet the program goals as students construct their own understanding of the world through active involvement with materials, people, and ideas.
The adult’s role is to facilitate this process by creating opportunities for children to undertake self-planned activities and to reflect on those activities. Adults will further support children by providing appropriate materials, planned spaces, and a consistent daily routine. Adults will understand each child’s developmental status and provide direct and appropriate support and extension of their activities based on developmentally appropriate key experiences.
To that aim our program will:
Focus on developmentally appropriate practices that are stimulating and based on those characteristics of young children that are crucial to their growth and development.
Encompass research based teaching practices, relationships with parents, and partnerships with community resources and agencies; and utilize a variety of materials, equipment, technology and supplies that will enhance the learning environment.
Recognize the parent and family as the most vital link to the child’s development.
Provide ongoing professional staff development and parent training in early childhood issues
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the fees?
All fees for the Full Day/Full Year program are paid through the Irvington Board of Education.
What is the role of the Irvington Board of Education?
The Irvington Board of Education contracts with your preschool to provide a “quality preschool program. To that aim the board is responsible for all aspects of program implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
The Board assigns one (1) Early Childhood Master Teacher for every twenty (20) classrooms. These qualified professionals ensure that the Irvington Public Schools Program Requirements, the Department of Education Early Childhood Program Expectations: Standards of Quality, and the Department of Human Services, licensing rules and regulations are implemented. The Master Teachers also provide professional development to the staff in each center.
The Irvington Public Schools provide a full time Nurse, Health and Social Services Worker, a part-time medical doctor and dentist, a Student Assistance Counselor, Bilingual/World Language Teachers, and other consultants.
What about attendance and before / after care programs?
We encourage all of our students to attend school everyday. However, we understand that there are times when they will not be able to attend. For more information about our Attendance Policies, please see Attendance.
Before & Aftercare Programs:
Before and after care through our wrap around service is offered at each of our preschool locations.
What will my child learn?
Children learn through play and to that aim your child will be provided a variety of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities.
A variety and materials, toys, books, and equipment will be present.
The environment will be “print rich” full of labels, books and pictures.
There will be a variety and number of objects and items to manipulate and use to develop math concepts.
Children will initiate, plan, do and recall activities while learning problem solving, conflict resolution, and decision – making.
What other services are offered?
A. Each preschool provider program offers:
A Family Worker for every forty (45) children enrolled. The Family Worker is an advocate for the child and the family and can assist you with any number of your social services and health needs.
A Preschool Intervention and Referral Team is established to assist children and families in making adjustments to the preschool experience.
There is a referral process for those students who may need special services due to physical, emotional, or learning difficulties.
B. There are four self-contained preschool special education classes and several preschool inclusion classes in the district. These provide services for children with special needs.
What if I am not happy with the level of services or if I have concerns?
If for some reason you have concerns about the program, you can call the Irvington Public Schools, Office of Early Childhood Department for assistance: (973) 399-3942 Ext 1512.
In cases of suspected child abuse (physical or verbal) at a center, you should contact DCPP Institutional Abuse at: 973-523-6090 or DCPP at 973-648-4200.
What happens if I want my child to attend a different school?
From time to time a parent finds that it is necessary to transfer a child to another school. A parent must come to the Irvington Public Schools Early Childhood Office to request an official transfer. Failure to follow this procedure may result in a break in continuity in your child’s preschool experience.
Does the school have field trips and other programs?
Yes – Field trips are part of the program curriculum and each school should provide at least 2-4 field trips each year free of charge.
How are meals supplied?
Each school has a breakfast, lunch and snack program. Meals are free or reduced price for those who qualify.
Should I expect a progress report?
Yes – In the fall a developmental screen is completed and teachers regularly note a child’s strengths. Two to three Progress Reports should be provided.
A Fall and Spring assessment is conducted to determine how your child has progressed developmentally. Further assessment may occur if the educational team feels that it is necessary.
The Office of Early Childhood recognizes parents and families as valuable resources in each child’s education. Parents are encouraged to be active in the educational process. They are invited to be involved in classroom activities and to conference with staff periodically and as needed. Communication is established by utilizing classroom notebooks, newsletters, phone contacts, and personal conversations. Regularly scheduled parent meetings are provided by staff and are intended to meet the needs of the families and students enrolled.
Parents are encouraged to join the Early Childhood Advisory Council and attend the parent workshops throughout the year.
There are many opportunities for parents to be involved in the program.
We will provide or assure access to comprehensive health services, which include abroad range of medical, dental, mental health, and nutritional services to preschoolchildren, including handicapped children, to assist in the child’s development.
We provide medical and dental care free of charge; including those students not covered by health insurance.
Prior, informed, written parental consent must be obtained, to provide any health (medical, dental, nutrition, or mental health) services to children. Parents shall betold the nature of all health services data to be collected, the uses for the data,and which uses will be restricted to stated purposes.
Emergencies and Injuries:
In case of emergency or injury to the student during the school day, school personnel will give first aid treatment. The parent/guardian shall be contacted as soon as possible to provide subsequent care. School personnel are authorized to provide First Aid Treatment Only. An Incident Report must be forwarded to the Early Childhood Office Nurse/Master Teacher immediately.